Cyprus Cup:  Falcons ambush Austria at AEK Arena – The Sun Nigeria #Nigeria

Monica Iheakam

The die is caste and Africa’s Women champions, Super Falcons of Nigeria will today at the AEK-Arena-Georgios Karapatakis, experience their first baptism of fire as the 2019 Cyprus Women’s Cup kicks off.

Falcons, nine -time African champions, will trade tackles with UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 semi -finalists, Austria at the 7,400 capacity AEK Arena stadium in Larnaca.

This is the first time that the Falcons would be participating in the prestigious 12-nation invitational tournament in it’s 12th edition this year.

Unlike Nigeria, Austria is making her fourth appearance at the Cyprus Cup. At the 2018 edition, Austria lost two of their matches against Spain (2-0), Belgium (2-0) but went ahead to defeat Czech Republic (2-0) and managed a 1-1 draw with Wales.

Drawn in Group C, Falcons will equally tackle Slovakia on March 1, before facing Belgium on March 4 at the same venue.

Assistant coach, Maureen Madu is optimistic about the Cyprus Cup outing which part of Falcons dress rehearsal for the 2019 FIFA Women’s Cup to be hosted by France

“Our preparation for the World Cup in France is going well because this tournament in Cyprus would give us the chance to look at the players again,” the former Nigerian international, Maureen Mmadu, told ahead of the team’s departure.

“This tournament in Cyprus is another opportunity to have a look at the players that we are likely to take to the World Cup in France and I can say that our preparation towards the World Cup is well on course. 

“The inclusion of Asisat Oshoala and Desire Oparanozie is a big boost because they were not available when we played at the last China Women’s Tournament and I believe we are going to improve very well as we build up towards the World Cup in France.”

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